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Billy Holland pictured above has announced his retirement Billy Holland pictured above has announced his retirement

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Munster’s Billy Holland to retire from professional rugby at end of season

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Billy Holland pictured above has announced his retirement

Munster’s Billy Holland to retire from professional rugby at end of season

By I Love Limerick correspondent Peter Cooney

Munster second-row Billy Holland has announced that he will retire from professional rugby at the end of the season.

The thirty-five-year-old will retire at the end of this season as the second most capped player in the province’s history behind only Donnacha O’Callaghan.

Having only hit the one hundred-cap mark for Munster when he was turning 30 in 2015. Holland has since added 141 caps as he has thrived in recent seasons, leading lineouts, delivering consistent performances while remaining a role model for younger players.

Holland joined the Munster Rugby Academy in 2005 and made his competitive debut against Scarlets in September 2007. He later went on to win Academy Player of the Year in 2008 for his breakthrough season and was promoted to the senior squad.

Holland played in the province’s narrow defeat to New Zealand in Thomond Park in November 2008, while in October 2010 he played a central role in the defeat of the touring Australia side.

In representing the next generation of players coming through the province he captained the Munster ‘A’ side to British and Irish Cup success in Musgrave Park in 2012.

Known for his leadership qualities on and off the field, Holland was twice nominated for Munster Rugby Men’s Player of the Year off the back of his performances during the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons.

On the international front he secured an Ireland cap playing against Canada at the Aviva Stadium in October 2016, while he enjoyed Nations Cup and Tblisi Cup success with Emerging Ireland in 2014 and 2015.

Speaking about the news, Holland said, “I have always been determined to finish my career whilst still playing well and adding value to the jersey each time I get to put it on. To be in a position to call time on such a fantastic experience, on my own terms, is one I am extremely grateful for. I believe the time is right for me, my family and for Munster Rugby to hang up my boots. I don’t want to reflect too much on the incredible journey just yet, as right now my focus is on performing to the best of my ability every time I’m handed that cherished redshirt. I am excited to help Munster continue to move forward and achieve our potential for the rest of the season.”

Munster Head Coach Johann van Graan commented on the news saying, “I only just said it recently, Billy will go down as a Munster legend in the history of the club, and rightly so.”

All of us at I Love Limerick would like to thank Billy for his commitment to Munster Rugby and wish him luck in the future!

For more information on Munster Rugby go HERE

For more stories on Billy Holland go HERE

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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